Mexico News Roundup
By KYLIE MADRY
Ventilators Not Saving Mexico’s Covid-19 Patients
More than 80 percent of intubated covid-19 patients have died in Mexico, according to a report released by the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) late Wednesday, Oct. 21.
Since covid-19 hospitalizations began in March, 17,331 IMSS patients have been intubated, the institute reported. Of those, 15,070, or 86.9 percent, have died.
That’s higher than the mortality rate of intubated patients in Wuhan, China, when the disease first began spreading last year. According to The Lancet Respiratory Medicine Commission, around 80 percent died in Wuhan. Medical experts in Mexico say the high mortality rate is due to a lack of personnel trained in the use of ventilators, as well as patients waiting too long to check into the hospital.
U.S. Lawmakers Accuse Mexico of Violating USMCA
U.S. lawmakers complained to President Donald J. Trump that Mexico was giving preferential treatment to its national energy companies, violating the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
In a letter sent Thursday, Oct. 22, more than 40 legislators accused Mexico of delaying investments and market access to U.S. energy companies, while prioritizing Mexican state-owned companies such as Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) and the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE). This, the lawmakers said, is in violation of the USMCA trade agreement, which replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in July.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that the preferential treatment wasn’t a violation of any agreement. “We are going, according to the legal margins that we have, to give preference to both the Federal Electricity Commission and Pemex, that is clear,” he said at a visit to a thermoelectric plant in the northern state of Coahuila on Saturday, Oct. 24.
Not a Soul in Sight: Cemeteries Close for Day of the Dead
While Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is typically one of Mexico’s most-celebrated holidays, the dead won’t be stopping by this year.
Local governments across the country are closing cemeteries to avoid crowds from forming in an attempt to decrease the spread of coronavirus in Mexico.
In Mexico City, 14 of the city’s 16 municipalities are closing cemeteries from Nov. 1 to Nov. 2.
Some will be open before the Day of the Dead to decorate, with designated entry days based on the loved one’s burial location in the cemetery. Others, such as the graveyards in the Cuauhtémoc municipality, have been closed since March and still do not have a planned reopening date.
500 Years Later, INAH Examines Tenochtitlán Conquest
Experts from Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), National School of Anthropology and History (ENAH) and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) will reexamine key events from 1520, during the Spanish conquest of Tenochtitlán, in an online colloquium later this month.
Streamed from the INAH’s YouTube channel, the colloquium will discuss the power of the Mexica Empire, the role the port of Veracruz played in the Spanish conquest and the Toxcatl massacre, when the Spanish attacked unprepared Aztecs in Tenochtitlán.
The colloquium will run from Oct. 28 to Oct. 30.
As Covid Spreads in Notorious Detention Center, INM Denies Responsibility
According to an inspection earlier this month by Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), at least 19 Hondurans in a Chiapas detention center tested positive for covid-19.
The Siglo XXI detention center in Tapachula, Chiapas, along the Mexican border with Guatemala, has developed a reputation among migrants for its filthy conditions and rampant human rights abuses.
The CNDH found in its inspection, which took place between Oct. 16 and Oct. 19, that the center didn’t have electricity or running water and hadn’t passed out face masks or hand sanitizer to detained migrants. Worst of all, the CNDH noted that detainees who had tested positive for covid-19 weren’t quarantined from others.
Last week, the National Immigration Institute (INM), which manages Mexico’s detention centers, told various news outlets that all centers were regularly cleaned, and that it followed sanitary protocol to fight the coronavirus.
…Oct. 26, 2020